The Skylarks' War (Paperback)Hilary McKay (author)
- 10+ in stock
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2018
Waterstones Children's Book of the Month for January 2019
Already victorious as the Children's Book Award Winner for the 2018 Costa Book Awards, Hilary McKay puts her unmistakable stamp on an affecting and heart-filled tale of lives overshadowed by the First World War and saved by the enduring consolation of family and friendship.
Brought up in an austere and cold London house in the haphazard care of their largely absent father and a short-tempered housekeeper, Peter and Clarry long for each summer when they can escape to their grandparent’s house in Cornwall. Here they and their kind and charismatic cousin Rupert taste true freedom and a kindling of mutual kindness and understanding.
Yet beyond their Skylark summers, forces are pulling them apart, with Peter sent to boarding school and Clary left at home. When the Great War breaks out and Rupert enlists, it seems that their lives will be forever changed.
A seasoned storyteller - she won the Whitbread Award for her bestseller Saffy’s Angel - Hilary McKay knows how to craft an utterly engrossing tale and pull her readers into its embrace and, in The Skylarks’ War, her talents are given full rein. Vividly capturing the poignancy of golden summers, gradually stolen by history’s unforgiving march, McKay creates a story of lives shaped and sustained by memory and family. There is much poignancy to be found in the way she explores the alterations wrought upon her characters by the pain and anguish of war, but this is tempered by a deft understanding of what remains and sustains us when the world is at its darkest.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 286 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 26 mm
'McKay is at her best in this poignant family drama.' - The Guardian
'Picking up a book by Hilary McKay is like slipping on bed socks on a chilly night. She knows how to look after her readers by ensuring that her characters are interesting and loveable from the start... McKay's cleverness is that she makes it all fresh and new while making these beautifully drawn characters feel like old friends.' - The Times, Children's Book of the Week
'This belongs among the classic of children's literature... Funny, sad, warm, it is about growing up and finding what you love, intellectually and emotionally.' - The Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week
'This book is agony and ecstasy, and never have I read such a human and accessible account of World War I. Vivid, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Hilary McKay's radiant characters touch my heart like real people, friends and loved ones I know well. Possibly the finest writer of our time.' - Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity
'This is McKay at her finest, all the heart and warmth of the Casson family books - with a touch of the Cazalets. It's both a thrilling family adventure and a truthful, heart-breaking examination of the impact of war... [an] exceptional historical novel.' - Fiona Noble, The Bookseller
'Hilary McKay is surely the heir to Mary Wesley. The Skylarks' War is just lovely.' - Charlotte Eyre, The Bookseller
'The Skylarks' War is bloody brilliant, the kind of classic that rings with beauty and conviction and heart-stopping emotion. Not read a novel this good since Eva Ibbotson died.' - Amanda Craig
'Hilary McKay is one of the great writers of children's fiction and this story of love and loss during the First World War is one of her best, told with unflinching wisdom.' - Sarah Hughes, The Independent
'Hilary McKay is a genius. This beautiful book is so many things simultaneously: complex and subtle, beautiful and raw, timely and timeless. I never wanted it to end.'- Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, author of The Smell of Other People's Houses
'I laughed, I cried and I wanted all the characters to be my best friend.' - Natasha Farrant
'Winning as ever, with an overall Secret Garden feel.' - Kirkus Reviews
'What a brilliant book. I laughed, I blubbed. The painful jolt of the Great War to one family carefully told.' - Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust
'I thoroughly loved The Skylarks' War. The story is at once intimate and sweeping, with Clarry the shining heart of it all.' - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, author of The War That Saved My Life
'Hilary McKay's novel is about love as much as war: the effect on children of being deprived of it and the beneficial results on adults of its persistence. McKay is incapable of writing an uninteresting character or a dull scene... I loved it.' - Mary Hoffman
'McKay couples warmth and grace with wry humour like nobody else out there.' - Katherine Rundell, The Guardian
'...a family book, like those of Noel Streatfeild or R.F. Delderfield... I find it hard to imagine anyone not enjoying it. You will smile, and you will cry... You will recognise yourself and your friends.' - Adele Geras
'Wise and kind and utterly heart-wrenching and full of characters you will give your whole heart to.' - Anna James
'McKay is a superb writer, deftly spinning history into a family drama of emotional neglect, shameful secrets, unrequited love, loss and ultimate triumph over all of these in a funny, moving and emotionally insightful book that could, and should, be read by all ages.' - Sally Morris, The Daily Mail
'Quite simply, The Skylarks' War is close to perfect. Wise, kind, witty and incredibly moving it will break your heart and remake it again a few times over.' - Scoop Magazine
'The Skylarks' War by Hilary McKay rivals Testament of Youth for delicacy and heart-wringing clarity in its portrayal of the home front during the First World War.' - The Independent
'Hilary McKay has a rare gift for novels about families and their interplay. Here, she weaves her story round one of the most powerful backdrops in history. And she does so with the lightest of touch which makes her history come alive.' - LoveReading4Kids.co.uk
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